Contemporary artists

Marcel Duchamp’ Fountain, 1917. Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz


The first definition of “readymade” appeared in André Breton and Paul Eluard’s Dictionnaire abrégé du Surréalisme: “an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of a contemporary artist.

Marcel Duchmamp selected objects that reflected his sense of irony, humor and ambiguity and exhibited in a museum: “…it was always the idea that came first, not the visual example,” he said; “…a form of denying the possibility of defining art.”

Duchamp only made a total of 13 readymades over a period of time of 30 years.

Without this background, styles such as Pop Art, Photorealism, Jeff Koons’s art objects  ¿Would they have been done and been so well-valued?


Pop Art


Roy Linchestein

Roy Lichtenstein, Barcelona’s Head in Paseo Colón de Barcelona


Pop art started with the New York Contemporary artists Andy Wharhol, Roy Lichtenstain and Claes Oldenburg . The subject matter became far from traditional “high art”, commonplace objects and people of everyday life, seeking to elevate popular culture to the level of fine art. Perhaps owing to the incorporation of commercial images, Pop art has become one of the most recognizable styles of modern art.

Pop art movement aimed to blur the boundaries between “high” art and “low” culture. The concept that there is no hierarchy of culture and that art may borrow from any source has been one of the most influential characteristics of Pop art.



Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt, Murale 831, 1997


In conceptual art, the idea behind an artwork is the most important aspect of it. The infuence of this movement remains in the most today contemporary art movement.

There is not doubt Damien Hirst, in his well-known work “The physical Impossibility of death in the mind of Someone living”,  a 14-foot (4.3 m) tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde, used a conceptual form of art. Lot of planning and decisions had to be made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair.


What are the Contemporary Art museums you must visit?




There is no unanimity in its origins but there is in that its materialization in the 1960s

It is still prevalent today in spite of the heavy  criticisms:  the minimal sculpture work of some artists based on an engagement with the physicality of the spectator, the transformation of  the act of viewing into a type of spectacle of others,…

The minimal art concerns of many artists who are designers of the projects while the artwork is executed by an unknown craftman, following a guide of the creator who is not present in the execution is criticized by art analysts but many important Contemporary Art Institutions admitted it.



Performance Art

Marina Abramovic e Ulay –MoMA 2010


The term was popularized by Barbara Rose  in the 1960s in United States and refers primarily to a drama-inspired approach to art, although not exclusively. There has also been an international dimension to the movement, particularly in Japan  and in Europe. As genres of performance art appear, body art, fluxus-performance, happenings…

Predominant performance artists include  Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramović and Yoko Ono.



Installation art

Wolf Vostell

Wolf Vostell, Autofever, 1973


When Richard Wagner conceived  of a Gesamtkunstwerk – an operatic work for the stage- that drew inspiration from ancient  Greek theatre in its inclusion of all the major art forms: painting, writing, music, etc. Wagner left nothing unobserved: architecture, ambience, and even the audience itself were considered and manipulated in order to achieve a state of total artistic immersion.

Today, installations are three-dimensional constructions that transform their surroundings and alter viewers’ perceptions of space. Often they involves the audience acting on the work of art or the piece responding to users’ activity

There are several kinds of interactive installations that contemporary artists produce, these include web-based installations; gallery-based installations, digital based installations, electronic-based installations, mobile-based installations, etc.






An example of web-based installation

1995-2004, Ars Electronica Museum, Linz Austria.
Co-directors: Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana
Project Team: George Bekey, Steven Gentner, Rosemary Morris Carl Sutter, Jeff Wiegley
Ars Electronica team: Erich Berger, Gerold Hofstadler, Thomas Steindl, Gerfried Stocker
Archivist: Hannes Mayer

The Telegarden is an art installation that allows web users to view and interact with a remote garden filled with living plants. Members can plant, water, and monitor the progress of seedlings via the tender movements of an industrial robot arm 3D Model of the Telegarden for 3D printers


Nam June Paik Electronic Superhighway Continental US, Alaska, Hawa

Nam June Paik Electronic Superhighway Continental US, Alaska, Haway. 1995


Installations  have  a large future because art institutions  are interested  in contemporary  artists who are using the participation of the audiences to activate and reveal the meaning of the installation and the thinking of art.


Street art

Street art - Bansky

FB Banksy’  page photograph

As one of the most recent contemporary art movements, street art is a genre that gained prominence with the rise of graffiti in the 1980s. Often rooted in social activism, street art includes murals, installations, stenciled images, and stickers erected in public spaces. Key street artists include figures from the 1980s, like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, as well as practicing artists like Banksy.


Here are some contemporary artists examples